New Survey Says 62% Bought Team Tee To Tailgate

Shockingly, 79% drink while tailgating but just 38% report getting tipsy; Nearly twice as many women as men have painted a body part for a football party

TREVOSE, PA – September 29, 2011 – A new survey on the tailgating habits of gridiron Americans says 62% bought a logoed football T-shirt and ultimate tailgaters partied like champs with beer, burgers and bets, says the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).

The survey concerned promotional products, aka freebies or giveaways, and their use in high school, college or professional football tailgating or parties. Of those surveyed, 66% have been given a free football-related shirt that also advertises a business.

Highlights include:

  • 62% of those surveyed have attended a tailgating event at a football game.
  • In the last year, 62% bought a logoed football tee or polo shirt, followed by a hat (52%) and sweatshirt (44%).
  • 79% generally drink alcohol while tailgating or at football parties.
  • 83% generally drink beer, 27% hard alcohol and 17% wine while tailgating.
  • 38% have gotten drunk at a tailgate or football party.
  • Men eat more at football parties, as they indicated they’ve consumed hamburgers, sausage/brats, hotdogs, chicken and steak more often than women.
  • 72% participated in a football pool while tailgating.


ASI also found the most popular NFL teams among those surveyed are Dallas Cowboys (10%), Chicago Bears (8%) and Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots (all 7%). And tailgaters are definitely a hungry lot, chowing down most on chips (73%), hamburgers (72%), hotdogs (62%) and sausage and brats (59%).

And like David Puddy in the “Face Painter” episode of Seinfeld, many tailgaters (17%) also report painting a part of their body before a game. In fact, nearly twice as many women as men have painted a body part for a football party (20% vs. 11%, respectively).

“American football fans rank among the most devoted in the world, and they show their team spirit with logoed team tees and caps they proudly wear to tailgating parties devoted to beer, burgers and betting,” says Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Promotional products are also a safe bet for businesses looking for inexpensive and effective advertising for their company, product or event.”

For a video demo of cool tailgating promotional products, click here.

Fans surveyed about their favorite football-related item cited everything from an autographed Joe Namath helmet, Dallas Cowboys clock, Green Bay Packers Crock-Pot and stuffed Penn State Nittany Lion to vehicle flags, terrible towels, bobbleheads and custom golf carts.

One fan cited a Kansas City Chiefs coffee mug, further proving the power of promotional products; he bought it for his dad for Christmas but his dad died before he could give it to him, “so I kept it, and use it nearly every day.”

ASI received 1,261 responses to its survey.

For more information, contact Larry Basinait, ASI’s executive director of research services, at (800) 546-1416 or [email protected].

ASI is the largest education, media and marketing organization for the $17 billion promotional products industry. Promotional products (aka giveaways, ad specialties, swag, freebies) are items like pens, T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and high-tech electronics imprinted with a logo or slogan to promote everything from a new store opening or hot new product to a Super Bowl win or even the U.S. Census. According to ASI research, promo products beat out prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available.

Visit ASI at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.